CLEVELAND — As Northeast Ohioans prepare to feast this Thanksgiving, know that the number of Northeast Ohioans seeking help to feed their families is growing. In fact, The Greater Cleveland Food Bank just experienced a one-day record food giveaway of serving 4,500 clients.
Karen Pozna, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank Communications Director says a spike in need is normal this time of year.
“The need tends to increase during the holidays because we’re just providing more food to families, so they have a holiday meal to put on their table,” says Pozna.
Pozna says the coronavirus pandemic is absolutely having an impact on the growing need for food.
“93,000 more people are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. That is in addition to the over 320,000 people that we have served this year since the pandemic started,” says Pozna.
That’s across the six counties they cover including Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, Ashland & Richland counties. To put it into perspective, In Cuyahoga County, they’ve seen 68,000 new first-time families seeking food. That’s enough to nearly fill First Energy Stadium where the Cleveland Browns play football. A growing client base means a growing need for volunteers. Terrence Rounds has been volunteering with the Cleveland Foodbank for 26 years.
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“I look at the people receiving food as my neighbors. And when your neighbor needs help, you go out and you help your neighbor,” says Rounds.
The Foodbank needs help on all fronts be it a monetary donation, or a donation of your time to pack or safely distribute the food boxes.
“I see myself now down there as a giant organism, if you will, a human organism. And we’re just all in this together. And so that’s what gets me down there every Thursday, I look forward to it every Thursday,” says Rounds.
“If we can provide them the food that they need and help them get through this tough spot and that is one less thing they have to worry about is getting food, that’s what we're here for, that’s why we’re here,” says Pozna.
If you and your family need help, click here.